Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > Roleplaying in General

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-12-2019, 12:04 PM   #31
Hide
 
Hide's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Default Re: Pros and cons of dungeons for hack and slash roleplaying

One of the earliest campaigns I played was a hack and slash: Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara. It basically revolved around the arcade game. And it was very fun.

The setting combined dungeons, woods, cities, flying ships and so on. The missions were simple, get to point X and kill the guys, retrieve the information and proceed to point Y (point Y was dependent on the information retrieved).

There were checkpoints (towns) to heal between missions or introduce new characters (if players died).
__________________
- Hide
Hide is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2019, 12:09 PM   #32
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Pros and cons of dungeons for hack and slash roleplaying

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
No matter how hard your axe, digging out stone with it should still take "the contagious". There are things that the D&D powercurve necessarily breaks (like, ironically, both dungeons and dragons) but manual tunnelling should not be part of that.
In 3.5e, 5' of stone has AC 3, hardness 8 and 900 hp (and wall of stone clarifies that this is 15 hp per inch). A 6th level fighter with Str 16, power attack, and a +1 pick used in two hands, will do 1d6+17 with attack bonus +5/+0, or an average of 23 damage per round, and will blow through that wall in about thirty rounds.
__________________
My GURPS site and Blog.
Anthony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2019, 12:20 PM   #33
Michael Thayne
 
Michael Thayne's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Default Re: Pros and cons of dungeons for hack and slash roleplaying

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
In 3.5e, 5' of stone has AC 3, hardness 8 and 900 hp (and wall of stone clarifies that this is 15 hp per inch). A 6th level fighter with Str 16, power attack, and a +1 pick used in two hands, will do 1d6+17 with attack bonus +5/+0, or an average of 23 damage per round, and will blow through that wall in about thirty rounds.
I'm pretty sure that way back in high school I was part of a group that found this rule, with amusing results. I forget if the players invoked it or they just said "we want to attack the walls with our sword" and the GM looked up the rule and went "whelp, OK, guess you can do that".
Michael Thayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2019, 04:33 AM   #34
The Colonel
 
The Colonel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Default Re: Pros and cons of dungeons for hack and slash roleplaying

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
In 3.5e, 5' of stone has AC 3, hardness 8 and 900 hp (and wall of stone clarifies that this is 15 hp per inch). A 6th level fighter with Str 16, power attack, and a +1 pick used in two hands, will do 1d6+17 with attack bonus +5/+0, or an average of 23 damage per round, and will blow through that wall in about thirty rounds.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
I'm pretty sure that way back in high school I was part of a group that found this rule, with amusing results. I forget if the players invoked it or they just said "we want to attack the walls with our sword" and the GM looked up the rule and went "whelp, OK, guess you can do that".
Hmm.. okay, that comes into the category of system bugs then. Short of making him do that damage many, many times to make a hole large enough to get through I have no idea how to make that work... in old school D&D you could at least have their weapons make repeated saving throws to avoid breaking at that kind of misuse...
The Colonel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2019, 10:58 AM   #35
Black Leviathan
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Default Re: Pros and cons of dungeons for hack and slash roleplaying

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
Heh. Immutable? At least for a party without special abilities? I take it you guys have never had a group of PCs ask if they can take a pickaxe to a dungeon wall.
Sadly no. I find that Hack & Slash RPGs tend to take that kind of initiative away from players with a combination of rules that don't really support leaving the path and play that doesn't reward good problem solving. At best players will move furniture or set traps so they can rest in a room. We end up with a lot of circumventing the path in Dungeon Fantasy where people will try to talk out problems rather than stab them or actually consult with experts before going to the dungeon to understand what they're dealing with. It actually will sometimes put a bit of strain on the genre.

[/QUOTE] but it often makes for a better game if you first decide what you want the world's "present" to be like and then go figure out a point of divergence that will give you that.[/QUOTE]

I think we're sort of apples and apples here. You'll have to backtrack a bit when you build the history of your world to make it what it is no matter what you start with.

All I'm suggesting is that a game world like D&D is a genre rather than a setting. It puts elements in the construction of the world that exist solely to justify it's mechanics and it does it a lot. So you end up having to frustratingly scratch your head any time you wander too far away from the town that is unsettlingly well-stocked for adventurers but doesn't have any infrastructure for a market or a church or anything traditionally found in a medieval town, or the path that has evenly spaced encounters but no explanation of why someone would blaze a path there, and an elaborately constructed facility in the middle of nowhere that never really makes sense.

So start with a world that already works. For most Fantasy games my working model is Late Medieval/early Middle Ages Netherlands and Germany. Then bolt on the elements you want to add, guilds of magic users, Polytheistic temples for Greek-like gods, evil cults, conspiracies, monsters. And fill in the spaces between. Rather than inquisition hunting pagans they hunt cults of evil gods and maybe bully small towns into worshipping their God. Magicians become a sort upper class that rivals the power of the clergy because of their importance in technology and military use. Dependent on the level of magic in the world some technologies are replaced with magic or have never existed. But otherwise the broad strokes of that original world are the same.

Now if I have a question, I have a functional copy of the world I can reference to build the answer. If I want a plot that involves the ink-maker's guild and I don't know how an ink-maker's guild would work I can Google everything about middle-ages ink making I need and then adjust that information for the breaks I've made in the world, so rather than using exotic floral and root dyes, ink makers use magically dyed pigments, the Light and Darkness College guild is tied to Ink-making.
Black Leviathan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2019, 11:43 AM   #36
RyanW
 
RyanW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Southeast NC
Default Re: Pros and cons of dungeons for hack and slash roleplaying

Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Leviathan View Post
All I'm suggesting is that a game world like D&D is a genre rather than a setting. It puts elements in the construction of the world that exist solely to justify it's mechanics and it does it a lot. So you end up having to frustratingly scratch your head any time you wander too far away from the town that is unsettlingly well-stocked for adventurers but doesn't have any infrastructure for a market or a church or anything traditionally found in a medieval town, or the path that has evenly spaced encounters but no explanation of why someone would blaze a path there, and an elaborately constructed facility in the middle of nowhere that never really makes sense.
Towns in D&Dland have churches, but to most people it's simply where you buy resurrections and anti-undead acid.
__________________
RyanW
Free Real Estate meme: *fades in popularity*
Other memes: It's free real estate
RyanW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2019, 12:53 PM   #37
robertsconley
 
robertsconley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Default Re: Pros and cons of dungeons for hack and slash roleplaying

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
So thoughts? When running games with a large hack and slash component, do you prefer dungeons, wilderness adventures, or something else?
My view a dungeon is a setting that happens to be maze with rooms. As such the blame as to whether it makes sense or not rest solely on the author or referee.

The virtue is that is one easiest form of adventures to describe and teach. Draw a maze, populate it with monsters, treasure, and traps. Leave some of the rooms empty. A downside is that it doesn't correspond to much in reality or fiction (at least prior to 1980).

In general the adventures I create have context, even if it starts as a maze with rooms, it matters when and where it located. I may not go much detail about the history but it shapes how I describe the locale.

A few are clear cut enough that I can take my note and turn them into something that shareable or publishable.

Night's Bride Coven
A three level dungeon built into a side of a cliff that is a lair of a coven of warlocks (evil wizards in my setting). They have lived hundreds of years by using the Magic Jar spell to transfer their souls from young body to young body.

While deep in a forest inhabited by orcs, the last round of kidnappings was executed sloppily leaving a trail for PCs retained by the local nobles to follow. They arrive just as the wizards are having a gathering with the leaders of the local orc tribe to reaffirm their alliance.

The Elf Lord's Temple
The Raw version: http://www.batintheattic.com/downloa...s%20Temple.pdf

The aforementioned orc inhabited forest was once an Elven kingdom before being wrecked by a Dragon and his forces. Various ruins remained including a temple to the god Silvanus the lord of trees and dream and patron of the elves.

It was built on top of ancient tomb left from the Dawn Wars that was the earthly prison of a Demon Lord captured during the war. Since the destruction of the kingdom, the abandoned complex has been infested by various creatures including undead. Plus various section have now interconnecting passages that didn't exist before.

Recently evil cultists became aware of the temple and are working to desecrate it when the PCs arrive. They are accompanied by their orc allies.

Notes
These are my personal notes and doesn't explain much. For example on the second level #7 the Maze there is a Minotaur. Well the Minotaur was one of the Demon's Lords lieutenants and when the tomb was built, the creature was cursed to live forever as a guardian. Always hungry but never dying.

If I ever write this up more fully, I will explain details like so that the place feels like it could exist if it is fantasy world.
robertsconley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2019, 08:52 AM   #38
Michael Thayne
 
Michael Thayne's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Default Re: Pros and cons of dungeons for hack and slash roleplaying

I checked out Gary Gygax's original Temple of Elemental Evil module and similar to Keep on the Borderlands / Caves of Chaos, it postulates that because the bad guys are Chaotic Evil, they won't work together very effectively to repel the PCs assault on their dungeon. I am very tempted to do something like this in my own games. In some ways it's a kind of silly conceit, but used only once in a great while it's very clever.
Michael Thayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2019, 09:08 AM   #39
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Pros and cons of dungeons for hack and slash roleplaying

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
I checked out Gary Gygax's original Temple of Elemental Evil module and similar to Keep on the Borderlands / Caves of Chaos, it postulates that because the bad guys are Chaotic Evil, they won't work together very effectively to repel the PCs assault on their dungeon. I am very tempted to do something like this in my own games. In some ways it's a kind of silly conceit, but used only once in a great while it's very clever.
It's only creating a general category of "Chaotic Evil" and ascribing "won't work together very well to repel invaders" to "Chaotic Evil" that's a little silly. Call the reason "complex internecine struggles and intense local politics" and you've got a very large list of examples of "didn't work together very well" from Real World History.

Sometimes the resistance doesn't even need to be split into multiple groups to not work very well. See Alexander the Great and the Persian Empire
__________________
Fred Brackin
Fred Brackin is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.